The Industry Transformation Coalition

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Background

The Industry Transformation Coalition (TITC) is a corporate Public Relations organisation, led by Executive Director Bruce Degn, that hosts events, publishes reports, and engages policymakers on behalf of its members.1

On its website, TITC claims to represent industries that can help “transform” society, and says the Coalition “believes we should be a catalyst for good—and we can do more good together!”1

As of April 2021, Philip Morris International is a member, alongside a number of other large companies representing the oil and gas, finance, media, telecommunications and food and drink industries. However, PMI is the only member sponsoring reports and events in partnership with TITC.2

Outputs and events:

On 15 January 2020, TITC organised events in Washington DC to engage with former members of Congress and pressure groups on behalf of its members, including PMI.3

TITC released two white papers in 2020, both produced by PMI:

  • The first: “Business Transformation: A Field Guide for Builders, Social Champions and Changing the World” addresses how businesses transform and adapt to challenges, including COVID-19. The author, Karan Girotra of Cornell University, stated in a disclaimer that the views expressed in the report “were not influenced by nor do they necessarily reflect the views of Handshake [PR agency] or PMI.”4
  • The second paper, titled “From Upset to Reset: Trust in a COVID World“, discussed how to increase trust in industries like tobacco and reported the findings of a PMI-sponsored survey that argued for greater government collaboration, saying “There is also clear support for companies engaging more with both governments and the public on public policy and social issues”.5

In April 2021, PMI and TITC, in association with ForeignPolicy.com, are hosting an event titled “FP Virtual Dialogue: Science Diplomacy” that “will bring together voices from public and private sectors to highlight research areas, public-private funding mechanisms and collaborative programs that put science at the front of global policy and business for a more resilient, collaborative future.”67

Summary

The activities of TITC align with PMI and the wider tobacco industry’s tactics of using COVID-19 and the language of transformation as an opportunity to change public perceptions of their business,8 to promote new products such as IQOS9 and exert influence over science and public health.

Tobacco Tactics Resources

Next Generation Products: Philip Morris International

COVID-19

Influencing Science

Foundation for a Smoke-Free World’s Tobacco Transformation Index

Other resources

BMJ Blog: Who should we trust on science diplomacy and COVID-19 recovery? Not Big Tobacco

References

  1. abIndustry Transformation Coalition, Homepage, industrytransformation.org, accessed April 2021
  2. Industry Transformation Coalition, Our Members, industrytransformation.org, accessed April 2021
  3. Industry Transformation Coalition, Resources: Event Video, industrytransformation.org, accessed April 2021
  4. K. Girotra, Business Transformation: A Field Guide for Builders, Social Champions and Changing the World, industrytransformation.org, accessed April 2021
  5. Philip Morris International, From Upset to Reset: Trust in a COVID World, industrytransofrmation.org, accessed April 2021
  6. Foreign Policy, FP Virtual Dialogue: Science Diplomacy, foreignpolicy.com, April 2021, accessed April 2021
  7. A. Fabbri, L. Laurence, M. Zatoński, A. Gilmore, Who should we trust on science diplomacy and COVID-19 recovery? Not Big Tobacco, BMJ Blog: Tobacco Control, 17 April 2021, accessed April 2021
  8. M. Zatonski, A. Gilmore, T. Hird, The two faces of the tobacco industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, BMJ Tobacco Control Blog, May 2020, accessed April 2021
  9. STOP, Addiction at any cost: Philip Morris International Uncovered, exposetobacco.org, accessed April 2021
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